01 Feb 2015
Bus drivers from across the north east have raised thousands for charity by spreading some Christmas cheer as they drove their buses during the run up to Christmas.
Across its six bus depots, Stagecoach North East bus drivers dressed as Father Christmas and his festive friends, bringing a smile to the faces of young and old passengers alike and encouraging them to dig deep for their chosen charities.
This year passengers showed generosity in their thousands, donating £19,315 to be shared between seven charities, including Saras Hope Foundation in Newcastle and St Clare’s Hospice in South Shields, with a final donation from the company.
South Shields bus driver Ken Ramsey said: “All of these wonderful causes are working so hard in our local community and we are very proud to have helped them in this way. We would like to thank our passengers for supporting us and giving as generously as they did on their travels and hope we made their journey a little more fun and festive.”
During their shifts bus drivers from the company’s north east depots handed out gifts such as rock sweets, miniature reindeer and snowman bugs with a Christmas message to help make the journeys for passengers even jollier.
Carol Bennett, Office Manager for Saras Hope Foundation, said: “Wow what can I say, over £7K was raised by the Stagecoach drivers at Slatyford for our charity, it’s amazing we are thrilled and can’t thank the wonderful passengers who donated so generously throughout the month of December. This donation will enable us to offer more children living with cancer, and their families, a week’s break at Sara’s Retreat which will provide them with smiles, hope and precious memories. Our services really do make a difference.”
Sonia Graham, Senior Fundraiser at St Clare’s Hospice, said: “We really want to thank Ken Ramsey who donned his Santa Suit from 12th December to support the launch of our ‘Wear a Santa Suit Day’ and also to Stagecoach for supporting his fundraising. All money raised will be used to support patient care here at the Hospice throughout the year.” Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach North East, said: “We are always happy to support our drivers in their fundraising efforts and would like to commend them on their dedication to making a difference during the festive period. I’d also like to thank all our passengers and the rest of the depot for giving so generously. Seeing Santa Claus driving the buses puts a smile on everyone’s face and is great fun for all involved.”
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